Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has urgently requested Secret Service protection, highlighting the Biden administration's deviation from past practices.
Kennedy Jr. has made a fervent plea to the Biden administration for Secret Service protection.
This comes after an alleged stalker trespassed on his Los Angeles residence twice in a single day.
It's worth noting that Kennedy had previously approached the Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, twice with similar requests, both of which were declined.
His campaign emphasized the deviation from a longstanding practice, stating, "Every presidential administration for 55 years has afforded early protection to candidates who requested it. The Biden administration is the sole outlier."
The campaign shared a letter highlighting the imminent release of the trespasser, identified as Jonathan Macht. This posed a significant threat to Kennedy, as it would mean three individuals, all of whom had previously made dangerous advances towards him, would be free to continue their efforts.
However, it's essential to understand that while major presidential or vice-presidential candidates can receive Secret Service protection, most primary candidates do not. The decision rests with the Department of Homeland Security in consultation with a congressional advisory committee, not the Secret Service directly.
Kennedy, once a Democrat, chose to run as an independent, distancing himself from the establishment, Yahoo News reported.
Though considered an underdog, he's seen as a potential disruptor in the upcoming general election, which is anticipated to be between Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Interestingly, due to his anti-vaccine stance, which resonates with some conservatives, polls suggest Kennedy might draw more votes away from Trump than Biden.
Recent events have further underscored the threats Kennedy faces. A man was arrested for trespassing twice in one day at Kennedy's Los Angeles home. The intruder was initially handed an emergency protective order and released, only to return later that day, leading to his arrest.
Kennedy's campaign mentioned that the man had scaled a fence at Kennedy's residence but was apprehended by the candidate's private security. Kennedy was present during both incidents. This event follows another from a month prior when an armed individual, posing as a federal officer, was arrested at a Kennedy campaign gathering.
In light of these threats, Kennedy's campaign had previously reached out to President Joe Biden in September, urging him to provide Secret Service protection.
It's a poignant request, given the tragic history of the Kennedy family. Both Kennedy's uncle, former President John F. Kennedy, and his father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, were assassinated.
The campaign described the recent trespasser as an "obsessed individual" and revealed that their private security had previously alerted the Secret Service about him, sharing concerning communications he had sent to Kennedy. Despite these alarming events, a new protection request was sent to DHS, marking their third formal plea.
A law enforcement official clarified that the Secret Service does not monitor individuals it isn't actively protecting. When a protection request is received, an assessment is conducted, but monitoring ceases once it's completed. At the time of the recent incidents, Kennedy was not under assessment.